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Cecile Raley Designs

Stone Setting Pro’s and Woes

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

I don’t set my own stones.  Or hardly ever.  And this is not much of a confession, because being a stone setter is a separate job from being a jeweler or goldsmith.  Both of those employ setters (as well as casting services and polishing services).  A good friend of mine - a 40 year industry veteran who has taught at a well known goldsmith school in Germany - has never set a stone.  My aunt, who...

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Chronicles of a Tsavorite: Part II

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

In my previous entry, I started to take you through the process of cutting a gemstone.  I picked a Tsavorite because they have become somewhat of a quest for me.  Tsavorite has a truer green than emerald – with less blue in it – and it is definitely more rare as well.  Think about it: if a gemstone were hard to get, why would the jewelry industry bother with mass marketing it?  If you are a large...

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On Cutting a Stone: Chronicles of a Tsavorite

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Some of my fellow jewelers have been asked if they cut their own stones.  And a friend of mine once wondered if all the stones I buy are cut specifically for me.  The answer to both questions is “no.”  For one, becoming a lapidary – a stone cutter – takes a lot of practice, and gemstone cutting is best left to those who specialize in it.  Secondly, cutting takes a lot of time (and hence money).  A...

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I like this color – what’s my gem?

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

I know a lot of us women (and some men, even) strive to be color coordinated.  And this puts certain demands on jewelry.  It had better match!  For this reason, and because we all have our favorite colors, I’ve been asked to supply a list of available gemstones by color.  So here’s my shortlist, together with some brief observations about each stone:
Red
1. Garnet: deep red to pinkish red to pink,...

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A word about natural gemstones

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

So I practically got yelled at. This was by a gemstone dealer at a jewelry show last spring, in response to my question about his tourmalines. “All stones are natural. Heated is not the same as treated.”

I had asked if the stones were heated, and that is a legitimate question to ask about tourmalines. Some tourmalines are heated and some aren’t, which affects the price.

Why, then, did my question...

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